How to send / receive data from a wireless barcode handheld ?

We need to develop an application (vb.net) that updates the stock from a handheld device on real time, to a inventory database reading the barcode of the products, just like the big stores do it like walmart or costco.

I have never worked with those kind of handhelds and a really don´t know If they have software or only sends text data to a computer/server.

I would like to know the implications of using that devices and how to get the transmited data.

Regards
dimensionavAsked:
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CodeCruiserCommented:
I think most of those readers are usually Windows Mobile devices with built in readers. You can user .NET Compact Framework to build an application for Windows Mobile which can either update the backend in real time or store the data locally and sync on demand.
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ChrissalterCommented:
I wrote a scanning device a few years back for WM5
you should be able to listen to the com port that the scanner is connected to

the scanned number simply gets passed through upon a completed scan,

Processes may have changed but the principal should be the same
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dimensionavAuthor Commented:
Chrissalter:
If the scanner is Wireless I wonder if it has 802.11b/g/n instead of COM port.
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dimensionavAuthor Commented:
Guys, do you recommend any special model of this devices?, maybe as CodeCruiser mentioned, that supports windows mobile.

Regards
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ChrissalterCommented:
One option could be to advise tge company to invest in smartphones for the warehouse staff

Most warehouse staff have company phones nowadays and utilizing smartphones could actually save them money

I would definately see that as a more futureproof option
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CodeCruiserCommented:
Commercial grade phones with scanners cost a lot (above £1000). I would do the homework first, get an application working on a cheap model from ebay and then look into buying an actual device.
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dimensionavAuthor Commented:
I asked about a device because my lack of experience in it worries me about having compatibility problems with my application.
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ChrissalterCommented:
Im talking about using the phones camera to scan the barcode

I use a windows phone and there are applications like Red laser, pic2shop and shopsavvy

They all use the camera to capture bar codes and do a very good job of it

You can pick up an android device for around £200, all it needs is a camera and the rest is done by the application

Other advantages include being able to transfer data over both wifi and 3g
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CodeCruiserCommented:
@Chrissalter
As long as you are an iOS or Android developer and, in case of iOS, willing to pay Apple money to deploy your app to your users.
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ChrissalterCommented:
Im not totally sure about ios and android

but on windows phone the device can be unlocked to allow installation of apps without them having to be published to the entire marketplace

In any way shape or form the overall cost is still lower and on a viable platform

Yes there are lots of devices based on the older microsoft compact framework, but the support is growing less and less as m/s try to ignore its existance
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dimensionavAuthor Commented:
Do you think that the reading speed of the codebar and transmission is the same using a phone than a terminal device?
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CodeCruiserCommented:
I don't think it is. And there are other issues such as battery life, durability etc.
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